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Employee Retention Tips

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Employee Retention Tips for an Economic Recession

By Stacey Carroll

Of all the threats and challenges your company can face in this economic downturn, losing top performers can be one of the most damaging.

As your workforce becomes more lean, top employee retention becomes more important. The quality of the people you have on the front lines determines your company’s survival. It is said that 20 percent of your workforce does 80 percent of the work. At this point in time, it’s possible that those 20 percent make up most of your team, and you want to keep them around.

Effective Employee Retention Tips and Strategies

So, how do you hold onto the best? Here are three, key employee retention tips to keep in mind:

Employee Retention Tip #1: Identify what your top-performers do best and let them do it.

I am not suggesting that you can let everyone do whatever they want all day. An approach like that wouldn’t create an effective employee retention strategy, anyways.

Do you fret over losing your top employees? Feel confident you're paying and managing them better than anyone else in your industry. View our Employee Retention webinar, High Impact Performance Management for Engaging and Retaining Your Top Performers and get ahead of the competition.

To implement this employee retention strategy, you must first recognize the needs of your organization. Then, once these are identified, you need to understand the skills, motivations and long-term goals of your employees. Once you have all of this information, you can find ways to match the needs of the organization to the talents of your employees. If you have selected the right employees already, chances are good that they are going to have the skills and talents that you need.

I think that Ron Charan, author of “What the CEO Wants You to Know,” said it well when he wrote, “Those leaders who deliver results consistently over a long period of time are the ones who recognize what an individual can do best. They link the business need and the person’s natural talent.”

Employee Retention Tip #2: Develop a compensation plan that rewards employee performance.

Top employees are motivated by doing good work. Actually, ALL employees are motivated to do good work. No one wakes up in the morning and thinks, “I want to fail at my job today.” However, top performers in your organization tend to have the talents you’re looking for and are intrinsically motivated.

But, beyond feeling good about the work they do, what can be even more rewarding to top employees is being recognized for their hard work with a pay-for-performance plan. Top performers generally don’t rely on external motivators, such as pay. But, the benefit of a pay-for-performance plan is that it helps to reinforce the intrinsic drive that they have. A system that rewards good employee performance with more money feels fair to them.

Employee Retention Tip #3: Don’t reward employees who don’t deserve it.

It’s clear that when budgets are tight and merit pools are small, you don’t want to spend money on rewarding employees who have not worked hard enough to earn it. In lean times, there’s no sense in spending scarce resources on rewarding employees who do not perform well or are over the market compensation rate for their job.

But, even more importantly, nothing will kill motivation faster with your top performers than to see “across-the-board” increases handed out to undeserving colleagues. Top performers know they do great work, but they need to see that you’re aware of their achievements, too. They will lose respect for your leadership and the organization if you treat everyone equally.

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